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The Phantom Empire

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The Phantom Empire

Published 1940
Topics Sci-fi, Western

This movie is based on the movie serial. From IMDb: Cowboy singer Gene Autry stumbles upon a civilization buried beneath his own Radio Ranch. The Muranians have developed technology and weaponry such as television and ray guns. Their rich supply of radium draws unscrupulous speculators from the surface. The peaceful civilization of the Muranians is corrupted by the greed from above, and it becomes Autry's task to prevent all-out war, ideally without disrupting his regular radio show.

Stars: Gene Autry, Frankie Darro, Betsy King Ross, and Dorothy Christy

IMDb Page

AKA Radio Ranch

Run time 69 minutes
Audio/Visual Mono, Black & White
Language English


Reviewer: katperrr - favoritefavorite - May 8, 2014
Subject: Phantom Empire
Reviewer: TONYNINER - - December 30, 2011
Subject: Something Is Missing...
It would have been nice to have the opening scene or credits at the beginning of the serial, as it does explain that this is a re-release movie version of this serial.
Reviewer: Noah 8-? - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 5, 2011
Subject: Gene Autry's 1st Starring Role?
From IMDB:
Birth Name
Orvon Grover Autry
ORVAN? No wonder he became kbnown as "Gene"!

The Singing Cowboy

5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Biography:
After high school Gene Autry worked as a laborer for the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad in Oklahoma. Next he was a telegrapher. In 1928 he began singing on a local radio station, and three years later he had his own show and was making his first recordings.

Three years after that he made his film debut in Ken Maynard's In Old Santa Fe (1934) and starred in a 13-part serial the following year for Mascot Pictures, The Phantom Empire (1935).

The next year he signed a contract with Republic Pictures and began making westerns. Autry--for better or worse--pretty much ushered in the era of the "singing cowboy" westerns of the 1930s and 1940s (in spite of the presence in his oaters of automobiles, radios and airplanes).

These films often grossed ten times their average $50,000 production costs.

During World War II he enlisted in the US Army and was assigned as a flight officer from 1942-46 with the Air Transport Command. After his military service he returned to making movies, this time with Columbia Pictures, and finally with his own company, Flying A Productions, which, during the 1950s, produced his TV series "The Gene Autry Show" (1950), "The Adventures of Champion" (1955), and "Annie Oakley" (1954).

Gene Autry produced the Annie Oakley Show? Shows what I dunno.

He wrote over 200 songs. A savvy businessman, he retired from acting in the early 1960s and became a multi-millionaire from his investments in hotels, real estate, radio stations and the California Angels professional baseball team.
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